German Shepherd Husky Mix

German Shepherd Husky Mix: How to Best Succeed With

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It is innate in human nature to continually improve. Whether we fail or succeed in achieving satisfaction with our progress, we invariably seek to transform everything around us. Our drive to change in the name of improvement extends even to our pets.

But what do we hope to achieve when we combine a dog that has achieved about everything we could ask with other breeds?

German Shepherds are among the most versatile and intelligent dogs the world has known, and yet we breed her to Poodles and Labradors. For what? Better hair? A new and improved personality?

Siberian Huskies accomplished the monumental task of saving a country from diphtheria. Yet somehow we think to do better by mixing the Husky with a Corgi or a Golden Retriever. Sometimes it works and thus the popularity and success of the designer dog.

What happens when you mix a German Shepherd with a Siberian Husky? The outcome often is a dog with the attractive looks of both parents in a smaller package than a GSD and a more trainable companion than the Husky. A Gerberian Shepsky, as she is commonly called, is a medium sable, black, and tan, or cream dog who is loyal, friendly, affectionate, and somewhat protective of the family. They make excellent pets with proper socialization and extensive training.

The German Shepherd Dog Rises From Generic To Classic In Germany

Once upon a time, Germany was not so organized in regards to the purebred dog. Herding dogs of various types roamed the vast mountainous terrain. Although they looked similar to each other, these herding canids had no specific standards.

The Phylax Society set about to standardize a herding dog for Germany in the 1800s. However, two factions within the group strongly disagreed on whether appearance or working ability should dominate the breed characteristics. You can still see evidence of the struggle between beauty and excellence in duty in today’s German Shepherd.

Splitting up of the Phylax Society did not stop the emergence of the GSD as an iconic breed of Germany. In 1899, Max von Stephanitz stepped up and named a model show dog he had chosen, Horand von Grafrath, as the first German Shepherd.

Stephanitz set a standard look but focused mostly on the working ability of German Shepherds through careful line breeding.

Stephanitz bred Horand and son Hektor von Schwaben along with Horand’s brother, Luchs, to various dogs selected from the Thuringian, Wurttemberg, and Swabian regions of Germany.

 

Stephanitz not only polished the German Shepherd’s appearance and made him extremely versatile, but he also marketed him to task forces such as the German Police. The GSD quickly spread across the globe and began to infiltrate police, military, and seeing-eye facilities.

The GSD contributes Elegance, Courage, And Working Intensity To Your Mix

Except for certain poorly-bred lines, German Shepherds are bold, self-assured, and courageous, well-suited to guard duty, and the military.

Confidence and a certain polite distance should set them apart in the show ring. At work, they are single-minded, excluding all but their handlers and the job at hand from their focus.

A German Shepherd is a trotting dog that happens to move beautifully with a smooth, far-reaching stride. Generations of herding work produced a dog with tremendous stamina, built to trot effortlessly for hours per day. Serving as live fence perimeters for sheep, German Shepherds also have the capacity for tremendous bursts of speed.

German Shepherds are extremely athletic, able to perform feats of strength and nimbleness when it comes to leaping, scaling walls, and pursuit and apprehension work.

Show dogs sacrifice some of their athleticism with extreme hind leg angulation that exaggerates the spectacular visual effect of the flying trot.

Despite the athletic appearance of this specialized gait, show line Shepherd often show weakness in the hind legs and an inability to execute the walk or maintain the trot properly.

A sloping croup is consistent with a galloping dog, but the exaggerated slant of the topline makes show line Shepherds inefficient at any gait.

Your hybrid will have beauty, a distinct look, and a large size if she takes after the GSD.

People Readily Recognize German Shepherd

German Shepherds are medium-large dogs about 50 to 90 pounds. They are 22 to 26 inches tall at the shoulders, with males slightly taller but significantly more muscular and masculine-looking than females.

With working lines, the differences between males and females are less important than in the conformation show rings.

Another notable difference between the lines is a show dog usually has bolder colors with the classic saddle pattern while working dogs are more often sable or uniformly dark.

German Shepherds are noticeably longer than they are tall, usually at a ratio of 10:8 in show lines or 10:9 in working dogs. They have a long tail that must go below the hocks. A GSD carries her tail low except in high-intensity work.

You may have recognized that coat type is one of the most highly differing characteristics of the GSD. Coat type was likely influenced by which regions a particular dog’s ancestors came from.

  • Short with a dense undercoat
  • Medium with a thick undercoat
  • Long with abundant underfur
  • Long without an undercoat or the inner coat is sparse – This is a serious fault in the show ring and is not particularly common.

The German Shepherd has a noble head with a slight dome to the crown, a rather long and moderately square muzzle, and medium almond-shaped dark eyes. Acceptable variations are light eyes for blue or liver dogs, both colors of which are faults, according to the AKC standard.

A GSD can be black and tan, red and tan, blue and tan, liver and tan, or solid blue, liver, red, black, or white. Rare colors that your hybrid may inherit are Isabella, a taupe variation of the liver, and Panda, a black and tan mutation with 35% white.

Temperament Is One Of The Most Unpredictable Qualities

Proponents of the purebred dog, like Stephanitz and other pioneers, carefully orchestrated their efforts to produce dogs with consistent qualities you can predict with reasonable certainty from one litter to the next.

While temperament is fairly consistent within a breed, subtle variations elude genetics, allowing your dogs to have distinct personalities.

Knowing the possible temperamental tendencies your dog may inherit from a purebred parent better prepare you in acquiring a new pup. If your new dog inherited 50% of his temperament from a German Shepherd, what tendencies could you expect?

High guarding instinct – Your dog will have a better-than-average potential to be a good guard dog, and with that a tendency is suspicious, aggressive, and protective against strangers.

Dominance – Although alpha dominance is a rare trait in dogs, the GSD tends to want to lead and take control. Novice or uncertain owners could struggle with the strong personality of German Shepherds and should arm themselves with knowledge and professional assistance where necessary.

One person’s loyalty – German Shepherds show a tendency to bond to one individual over others, although they will still protect all perceived members of that lead person’s household. You can work with your Shepherd to encourage her to spread her affection more evenly.

Driven – German Shepherds need to work, and they enjoy it. You can find tasks you can accomplish together such as agility, Schutzhund, fly ball, herding trials, search and rescue, and more.

Destructive – German Shepherds have not escaped artists, but they are working dogs who do not do well on their own for too long at a time. They may bark, dig, or destroy the house out of boredom.

Affectionate and faithful

Exercise Is Paramount For German Shepherds

A GSD will contribute high energy, intensity, and activity to your mix. If a sedentary couch potato is your preferred state, a German Shepherd combined with a Husky is the last thing you need.

German Shepherds may need two or more hours per day of exercise, much of it which should involve hard running or the equivalent. You also need to incorporate training and socialization, which is important for Shepherds for three years or longer.

Training can satisfy a large part of your German Shepherd’s need for intellectual stimulus, but you have to plan on providing mental tasks as well.

German Shepherds Are Highly Intelligent And Obedient

According to Stanley Coren, German Shepherds have exceptional working intelligence. However, obedience in the GSD is not blind but instead grows from mutual respect and consistent positivity-based training.

Because German Shepherds are large, powerful, and strong-willed, some handlers resort to harsh practices to maintain control. Rough treatment can easily create a frustrated and dangerous German Shepherd.

However, a well-trained German Shepherd seems like the poster child for obedience as he works seamlessly in a partnership with his owner or handler.

How Does A German Shepherd Contribute To Your Hybrid’s Potential Health?

German Shepherds are prone to numerous problems, but fortunately do not pass all down to the Husky mix. A few of the more common hereditary problems are:

  • Hypothyroidism – Low thyroid hormones
  • Epilepsy – Seizures with no known cause. Epilepsy is treatable, but some cases are difficult to control.
  • Degenerative myelopathy – A neurologic disorder that causes progressive muscle weakness and eventually nonpainful paralysis.
  • Cushing’s disease – Usually involves an initially benign tumor on the pituitary gland at the base of the brain. The tumor causes dogs to secrete hormones as if they are taking steroids. Affected dogs drink too much and urinate excessively along with other ailments like thinning skin, fatty liver, and overworked kidneys. The treatment alleviates symptoms, but eventually, the tumor’s growth leads to unmanageable deterioration.
  • Elbow dysplasia – One of the most common hereditary problems of German Shepherds.
  • Hip dysplasia

Where Does a Siberian Husky Originate And For What?

Like the German Shepherd, you get a clue about a Siberian Husky’s origin from her name.

The Siberian Husky originated with a native tribe of reindeer herders and whale and walrus hunters, the Chukchi people of Northeastern Siberia. Priding themselves for predating the Christian era, the Chukchi call themselves the Luoravetila or real people.

They developed the Siberian Husky shortly after 1000 B.C. to haul equipment and supplies across the harsh land from one hunting site or village to another. Siberian Huskies adapted to frigid conditions and learned to survive on little food.

Despite their earlier roots and closer proximity to the Americas, the Siberian Husky lagged behind the German Shepherd by one year, not establishing a foothold in Alaska until 1908. Unlike the Shepherd, the Siberian Husky rose in popularity not as a show dog but for its original purpose of sledding.

The Siberian Husky Has An Intense Personality

If you thought your GSD mixed puppy would acquire a degree of calmness from the Siberian Husky parent, you have not met many Huskies.

When television shows like Game of Thrones caused an explosion in demand for the Siberian Husky, many new owners surrendered their dogs to local shelters. People were physically and mentally overwhelmed by these medium-sized dynamos.

  • Vocal – Huskies do not bark a lot but sing, howl, and cry.
  • Fail to follow – Bred and used for centuries to pull sleds, Huskies often try to take the lead in various aspects of the relationship with their owners.
  • Stubborn
  • Predatory – They tend to chase and may potentially kill small animals. A Husky’s prey drive may include cats.
  • Wanderlust – Huskies actively seek to escape and run.
  • Affectionate and playful

Siberian Huskies Stamp Their Puppies With A Distinct Carriage And Varied Eyes

Your first impression of a Siberian Husky should be one of balance, dignity, alertness, and friendliness. While many Huskies are outgoing, plenty is friendly but show a moderate degree of reserve. Siberian Huskies pass on proportional balance and intensity to German Shepherd offspring.

No one can question the natural athleticism of Siberian Huskies. They easily rank high as one of the marathon runners of the canine world, exhibiting freedom in their gait that sets them apart from other breeds. They differ from the GSD in that they are loping dogs, able to sustain a slow running stride for long periods.

Huskies also have the build to handle uneven terrain and snowdrifts. They stand out from other sledding dogs such as the Alaskan Malamute for their speed and endurance.

Adding to the Husky’s alert carriage are a well-arched neck, strongly erect ears, and inquisitive expression.

The ears are medium and triangular and the eyes can be amber, brown, blue, or any combination of brown and blue. Siberian Huskies may even have one blue eye and one brown eye.

Everything about a Husky should be in balance, neither too fine nor too coarse, including their heads. They do not have the dome-shaped forehead of the German Shepherd but should still have an obvious stop (obvious dip from head to muzzle).

Huskies have a brushtail similar to a Shepherd’s, but they carry it over their backs when active. A Siberian Husky is distinct in that his tail usually does not lay against his back but hovers just over it.

Siberian Huskies are 20 to 23.5 inches tall and weigh 35 to 60 pounds. The height standard is very stringent, where the AKC is concerned. Females are somewhat smaller and finer in bone than males.

All Husky colors and patterns are acceptable per the AKC.

  • Red and white – Red is also called copper in Siberians. Chocolate copper is similar to the liver color gene in other breeds.
  • Black and white
  • Gray and white – From silver to charcoal gray. Husky breeders distinguish wolf-grey here from sable.
  • Piebald – White is 30% or more of the dog’s color. Some dogs only have a small patch of color in an almost wholly white coat
  • Sable – Red but not beige undercoat
  • Agouti – Again, Husky people establish a clear line between agouti and sable. Agouti features a charcoal undercoat with the banded hairs of the sable but in darker colors. White areas are cream-colored, and agouti dogs resemble wolves more than sables do.
  • Solid white
  • Solid black

Siberian Huskies Are Highly Intelligent But Not Very Obedient

It is not at all unusual for Spitz breeds to strike you with their obvious intelligence and yet perform poorly in obedience classes or demonstrate a complete lack of understanding of anything you tell them to do.

According to Thesmartcanine.com, Siberian Huskies were of average working intelligence and obedience and scored No. 74 on Stanley Coren’s top 138 intelligent dogs list.

The Husky’s ability to work in a pack and cooperate with handlers is evident in their sledding prowess, so often performed with a team.

However, as pets, they can seemingly have a complete lack of concern about pleasing their owners. Persistence and high-value rewards are the most effective means to reach a Siberian Husky.

What Genetic Health Problems Affect Siberian Huskies?

Siberian Huskies have a lifespan of about 12 to 14 years. They do suffer from hereditary problems that can adversely affect their quality of life.

Eyes

Siberian Huskies have beautiful eyes but can suffer from several problems, including corneal dystrophy, cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy, and uveodermatologic syndrome.

Corneal dystrophy – In Siberian Huskies corneal dystrophy is a recessive trait, meaning both parents must have one copy of the gene to pass it to puppies. It affects the middle layer of the cornea, leading to fatty deposits and irregular opacities in the eye but not requiring treatment.

Cataracts – Huskies are prone to early-onset cataracts.

Progressive retinal atrophy – In Siberian Huskies, PRA is a sex-linked mutation carried on the X chromosome. Therefore, females who have the mutation are usually asymptomatic carriers, and affected males always have the disease. The disease leads to night blindness through the destruction of the rods.

Uveodermatologic syndrome – An autoimmune disease that usually starts with the uvea inside the eye and progresses to heavily pigmented areas of the skin. Eye inflammation, according to Eyecareforanimals.com, can lead to cataracts, glaucoma, and detached retinas.

Hip Dysplasia

According to the OFA, Siberian Huskies have a low level of hip dysplasia, especially concerning their size. However, Huskies can become increasingly vulnerable as they suffer from problems like obesity.

Insurance companies such as Embrace place the Siberian Husky’s risk of hip dysplasia at a medium level.

The Husky’s increasing popularity, like many other breeds, has promoted irresponsible and mass breeding, leading to an increase in physical and behavioral issues.

Another unique feature that leaves modern Siberian Huskies more susceptible to dysplasia than their ancestors is their metabolic make-up.

Sled-pulling dogs burned a lot of calories, but the Chukchi tribes did not have the resources to feed them much.

Therefore, Siberian Huskies have evolved to maintain themselves on fewer calories than other breeds. High-nutrition dog foods flood today’s pet market, making it easy to create overweight Huskies who then struggle with secondary joint problems.

Grooming Huskies Is At Times Demanding

Similar to a Shepherd, Siberian Huskies should receive brushing as their primary means of grooming. They are unusual in that they may completely lose their undercoats in the summer months. Without an undercoat, Huskies may seem cooler but lack the insulating protectiveness that German Shepherds have.

Make your Husky Happy; Tire Him Out

Siberian Huskies, similarly to German Shepherds, need two hours or more of exercise every day. Providing a good amount of training and other intellectual activities can substitute for some of the strenuous exercises you provide.

You should never neglect an opportunity to train and socialize your Husky, but not to the point that you bore her.

What are the origins of the Shepsky?

German Shepherd and Siberian Husky mixes have probably been in existence for a long time as both breeds have enjoyed reigns of high prevalence. However, Shepskies officially joined the designer dog ranks in the late 1990s.

Reasonable guesses as to the goals of the Shepsky are companion and guard dog and possibly to improve the hips of German Shepherds. Malamutes were used similarly in King Shepherd.

Will Your Gerberian Shepsky Be A Part Wolf?

In truth, all dog breeds are only separate from the wolf by less than 2% of their DNA. Therefore, you may commonly see someone flippantly say any dog is 99% wolf.

The concern about whether a dog shows an unpredictable and undomesticated wolf-like temperament lies in the mating of recent generations of purebred dogs with wolves or wolf hybrids.

There remains a persistent and prevalent belief among dog owners that German Shepherds are more closely related to wolves than other breeds.

People feel even more strongly about the wolf connection with Huskies and Alaskan Malamutes because of their appearance. The promotion of Shepherd and Husky television stars who play wolf roles does not help dispel this belief.

You can put your mind at ease concerning whether your Shepherd Husky cross is more wolfish than any other breed of dog.

According to Ovcharvonatlanta.com, the original German Studbook of the GSD specifies four wolf crosses that occurred during a particular time frame marked by 30 dogs.

No DNA proof exists that wolf outcrosses were part of any regular breeding practice beyond the 76th German Shepherd.

Intermittently, people with specific goals for working dogs have attempted to breed German Shepherds with wolves to no avail.

One result of such an experiment was the Czechloslavakian Wolf Dog from the cross of Czech working German Shepherds and Carpathian wolves.

These wolf hybrids were largely abandoned for working purposes because of their high-strung temperaments and resistance to training. Enthusiasts pursued the creation of a new breed instead, which now exhibits good working skills.

Further substantiation that the GSD is not a wolf lies in DNA tests of modern German Shepherds, illustrating a wolf admixture of only about 1% to 5%, statistically in keeping with most dogs at 0.3% to 2%.

Closer to the time of their origins, some German Shepherds were as high as 10% lupine thanks to the increased incidence of wolves mating with independent herding dogs. Moreover, the foundation sire Hektor, aka Horand, allegedly had 25% wolf genes.

Relatively recent Siberian Husky ancestors, similarly, showed the presence of 1% to 27% of Taymyr Wolf genes.

The high presence of wolf genomes along with additional new research suggests dogs like Siberian Husky’s ancestors split from the gray wolf and a second canid, the Taymyr wolf, 35,000 years ago but continued to interbreed with the wolves.

Again paralleling the German Shepherd, albeit on a much earlier timeline, the human influence on the ancient Spitz type selected for traits like trainability and coat variety in the Husky that would have suffered from crossbreeding to wolves.

Your German Shepherd Husky mix will resemble a wolf in appearance more than other breeds, but she will not exhibit Wolf Dog or Wolf Hybrid characteristics.

What Exactly Will Your Gerberian Shepsky Look Like?

Your German Shepherd Siberian Husky will be somewhat smaller than a German Shepherd, standing 20 to 25 inches tall and weighing 45 to 80 pounds.

He will move loosely in the trot and run, possessing both grace, the ability to cover lots of ground, and tremendous speed and athleticism.

Gerberian Shepskies can vary in appearance, but since the parent breeds are fairly similar, many will have a traditional look.

Expect your dog to have strongly erect ears that may even extend forward of the line of the cheek. The ears will probably be more triangular and smaller than a Shepherd’s.

Your mixed dog will be of a compact build with medium or short thick fur and a brushtail probably carried over the back.

The head will be medium with a moderately square muzzle and slightly round face. Expect a sable or red coat with a dramatic facial pattern like forehead designs or spectacles. Other colors may appear.

  • Black and tan
  • Black
  • Brown
  • White
  • Blue
  • Cream

Your mix may have brown, amber, blue, or green eyes. She may also exhibit heterochromia whereby either one eye is blue, and the other brown, or both eyes are multiple colors.

What About Gerberian Shepsky Temperament?

There are a few qualities you can expect pretty consistently in your Shepsky’s temperament.

  • Affection and loyalty
  • High prey drive
  • Friendly
  • Playful
  • High intensity and energy level
  • The tendency to be vocal
  • Stubborn and dominant personality – May be difficult to train

Husky And German Shepherd Mix Are Good Watchdogs

Not only do Shepskies bark to warn you of trespassers or suspicious activity, but they also have the size and intimidation to deter most criminal intent. Depending on your dog’s genetic makeup, there is a good chance your Shepsky will be a fair guard dog.

Shepskies may not be as protective or territorial as the GSD, which often makes them more manageable for easy-going families living in typical urban neighborhoods.

Apartments Are Not Appropriate For Gerberian Shepsky

Several factors are problematic when attempting to combine apartment living and a Husky mix.

Your Shepherd Husky mix will not be a giant dog but probably too large for the confined space of most apartments and condos.

More challenging than space, however, is your dog’s energy level. Shepskies require a lot of exercises and have an intensity that can make them anxious when confined.

You may think to yourself, “Well, my apartment home is large,” or “I will just take the dog out for walks multiple times a day.” Even if you successfully adapt your pet to city dwelling, will a community allow your dog into its midst?

Many property owners and insurance underwriters view Siberian Huskies as destructive if not aggressive. At the very least, many people fear Huskies as a menace to cats, small dogs, and even children.

According to Dogexpert.com, insurance companies who employ breed blacklisting policies have recently added the Siberian Husky.

German Shepherds are finding themselves on more Dangerous Dogs lists because of poor breeding or negligent socialization but also for their longstanding guard dog status.

While a pet ban is rarely the fault of the dog breed much less your pet, you cannot change the fact there will be potential restrictions on where you can live with your Shepsky.

Regulations also do not distinguish between mixed breeds and purebreds. If they ban German Shepherds, for example, any dog with more than a certain percentage of that breed will be prohibited, face higher security deposits, or other measures. You could face a double penalty with a GSD Husky mix.

How Long Will Your German Shepherd Husky Mix Live?

Your Gerberian Shepsky will likely live from 10 to 13 years. There are a few health problems which you should be aware of.

Elbow and hip dysplasia (GSD)

The German Shepherd has a rather high incidence of joint dysplasia, while Siberian Huskies have an extremely low occurrence.

Hip dysplasia occurred at about 2% in Huskies in 2019 compared to just under 20% for the GSD. Your mix likely will show improvement of joint health over purebred German Shepherds.

Eyes

Your Shepsky could potentially inherit a few eye problems mainly from the Siberian Husky.

  • Juvenile cataracts – These dogs develop cataracts as early as five or six months of age and can be blind by a year old.
  • Corneal dystrophy – German Shepherds can also be carriers of corneal dystrophy.
  • Progressive retinal atrophy – Can eventually lead to blindness.
  • Glaucoma

Endocrine

  • Hypothyroidism (GSD, Husky)
  • Cushing’s (older GSD)

Bloat

With their deep chests, Gerberian Shepskies will be more prone to GDV than purebred huskies. GDV, gastric dilatation, and volvulus is an aptly descriptive term.

The stomach swells with fluid or gas, perhaps after your dog gobbles down a large meal of dry kibble. Your Shepsky’s relatively deep chest gives the bloated stomach space to rotate.

Twisting of the stomach causes disruption to circulation, electrolytes, and other organs like the heart and spleen. GDV often needs surgical intervention and extensive supportive care.

How Should You Groom Your German Shepherd Husky Mix?

You should brush your dog twice a week or more. You will need to step that up during the major sheds of the undercoat that occur twice a year.

Baths can help with shedding, but make sure to take into account your dog’s sensitive skin. Consider shampoos that do not use detergents or consult with your veterinarian about mild and moisturizing cleansers.

With a few exceptions for health reasons, canine experts do not recommend you shave dogs that have double coats.

Your Shepsky is well-adapted to both hot and cold weather. The outer coat is water- and wind-resistant, and the underfur is insulating.

During the summer, your dog’s fleecy undercoat traps some cool air and keeps flow up through the outer guard hairs. Finally, the outer coat will keep out most ultraviolet rays, further protecting your dog.

Trim your Shepherd mix’s nails every six to eight weeks to prevent cracking, splitting, and fracturing.

Consult with your medical professional about oral hygiene. Preventative dental care can ward off not only bad breath and tartar as well as other organ systems that can be affected by mouth bacteria.

How Many Exercise Should Your Husky and German Shepherd Mix Get?

Your GSD Husky mix will need at least an hour and a half to two hours of exercise every day. As with any athletic dog, she will need a balanced program that includes portions of time dedicated to mental activities and high-intensity exertion. Mental work can include training obedience or new skills and socialization.

You may wonder how you will ever find enough time to sufficiently exercise your German Shepherd Siberian Husky mix.

The great thing about having such a versatile dog is the number of activities that can open up for you, especially if you are active.

Many extracurricular activities serve the dual purpose of a strenuous workout session and intellectual stimulation.

  • Agility
  • Herding trials – If your dog inherits a lot of the Husky personality, he may be too predatory to train in herding.
  • Sledding
  • Shutzhunde
  • Fly ball
  • Luring
  • Police work – This particular mix does well with pursuit and drug and bomb-sniffing.

How Should You Feed Your Gerberian Shepsky?

Because of concerns about bloat, you should plan to feed your Shepsky two times a day. Three times daily is even better to avoid one of the risk factors, a large volume of food at a single meal.

A healthy and active GSD Husky mix should eat 1700 to 2400 calories per day, according to Petventuresbook.com. Using caloric measurements as feeding guidelines is more precise than going by volume, but it works out to approximately four to eight cups per day depending on your dog’s food.

A more sedentary dog may need a caloric intake as low as 1200 kilocalories.

Since dogs are not machines, you will have to use measurements as guidelines and go by your Shepsky’s appearance.

You should be able to look down on your dog and see an obvious waist where your dog’s trunk narrows from chest to hips.

The ribs should not be visible, but you should be able to easily feel them under a light padding of fat when you run your fingers across your dog’s trunk.

Finally, from the side, your dog’s tummy should “tuck up,” your dog’s abdomen gradually sloping as it approaches the hind legs.

You can safely monitor your dog’s changes in weight every week or two. Puppies, since they are growing rapidly, require more vigilant weight-watching than adults. You can adjust food amounts by 10% in either direction to account for excess loss or gain.

Does Gerberian Shepsky Get Along With Children and Other Dogs?

Although your GSD Husky mix could potentially inherit some dog aggression from the German Shepherd, most well-socialized Shepskies will get along with other dogs. Siberian Huskies do not often show aggression against fellow canids. Tiny dogs could pose a problem if your pet perceives them as prey.

Also highly dependent on extensive socialization, your Shepsky should get along with children. The hybrid’s playful personality makes her a great companion for children over the age of eight or nine years.

As with any larger dog, small children are at risk of injury from the exuberant nature of the Shepsky. Your German Shepherd mix could run over a toddler or may exhibit nipping and herding tendencies.

Keep in mind mixed breeds are responsible for a large proportion of serious dog bites, and the most common victims are children under nine years old.

Examples

The “typical” Shepsky in appearance and temperament. Here is a dog who is receiving professional training for pulling on a leash, lack of focus, and excitability.

Note how he is more compact than a German Shepherd with the black and tan coloration and dramatic markings on the face.

Also, you can see how he carries his brush tail over his back. This dog exhibits the short double coat variety. Another detail not to take lightly is the dog’s boundless energy.

A long-haired Shepsky illustrates how this dog is likely more trainable than a purebred Husky.

However, she lacks the single-minded focus and dedication to work that you would see in a German Shepherd. This dog may still be young and the Gerberian Shepsky nevertheless finds use in the police and military.

This dog is a kind of sable in color and carries her tail lower like a Shepherd than the above example. She again shows striking markings on her face.

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